Sprint Offers Clearest Indication yet Of ‘Tri-Band’ LTE Strategy

Sprint is poised to commence selling so-called ‘tri-band’ devices that can access Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology across the 800MHz, 1900MHz and 2500MHz frequency bands. The carrier currently sells LTE devices that utilize its 800MHz and 1900MHz spectrum, but this week will see both the NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot and the NETGEAR 341U USB Modem added to its device portfolio.

Sprint first launched its LTE network on its 1900MHz in July 2012, referring to the spectrum as ‘the primary band in its 4G LTE nationwide build-out’. However, 30 June saw the company shut down its legacy 800MHz iDEN network, allowing the remaining spectrum to be re-purposed as part of the ‘Network Vision’ scheme. Going forward, following the close of its acquisition of the 50% of Clearwire that it did not already own, Sprint is adding the WiMAX giant’s 2500MHz spectrum to its LTE coverage portfolio. Sprint said of the new spectrum: ‘[It] excels at broad-based, high speed coverage, [and] is expected to provide Sprint customers increased speeds and capacity in densely populated cities’.

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